Decade in Review

So this isn’t everything I’ve done in the past decade, but it’s what came to mind over the past ten hours or so. And I included 2009 in this decade because I f***ing wanted to. Enjoy!

The beginning of the decade….

In 2009, I started college.

In 2009, I went on my first shidduch date.

In 2009, I quit my job teaching at Bais Yaakov of Boro Park.

In 2010, I won two scholarships to fund my college years.

In 2010, I went to the college career office where they told me I should be a professor, and I had my mind blown.

In 2011, I attended my first graduate class as an undergrad and realized I could definitely do grad work.

In 2011, I presented at NCUR in Ithaca, New York.

In 2011, I made arrangements to keep shabbos while at the conference but still got told by my father that I had my priorities wrong.

In 2011, I sang at karaoke for the first time.

In 2011, I went to a non-kosher sushi place with friends from my college French class and ordered a beer. It was my first beer. I drank only half of it and a friend finished it for me. I frantically chewed mint gum on the train ride home and hoped my parents wouldn’t be able to smell the alcohol.

In 2012, I presented at NCUR in Ogden, Utah.

In 2012, I spent a grand total of 28 hours in Los Angeles, spending shabbos with my cousins after NCUR and flying back to NYC right after shabbos was over.

In 2012, I graduated from City College of New York summa cum laude with a major in English Literature and a minor in Classical Studies.

In 2012, I spent five weeks at Neve Yerushalayim trying desperately to get back the faith I had lost over ten years before.

In 2013, I took a grad course on the French of England at Fordham as a non-matriculated student. [The final essay I wrote for that course used postcolonial theory, though I did not yet know the term.]

In 2013, I went to a bar for the first time, feeling only slightly out of place among my cohort of grad students entering the CUNY Graduate Center’s English Program.

In 2013, I started grad school.

In 2014, I moved out of my parents’ home and joined a Modern Orthodox girls’ apartment in Morningside Heights.

In 2014, I wore pants outside for the first time. I also had a lot of other first that were less significant (no, eating my first cheeseburger was not a momentous occasion).

In 2014, I went to England for the first time on a study-abroad program in Exeter.

In 2014, I taught my first college writing class.

In 2014, I presented at my first graduate conference in Cardiff.

In 2015, I dyed my hair red.

In 2015, I presented at Kalamazoo for the first time.

In 2015, I got my first tattoo.

In 2015, I moved into an apartment with no other Jewish roommates, including – gasp! – a man.

In 2015, I cut my hair short.

In 2015, I became co-chair of the English Students Association.

In 2015, I presented at a conference in Edinburgh.

In 2015, I met with a room full of rabbis and one woman at Agudah headquarters to talk about why people leave Orthodox Judaism.

In 2015, I had sex for the first time.

In 2016, I taught my first college literature class.

In 2016, I wrote an article about Yaffed for the GC Advocate.

In 2016, I organized some meetings with other Bais Yaakov graduates and leaders in the frum education world to talk about the many problems in Bais Yaakov.

In 2016, I buzzed my hair.

In 2016, I passed my orals exam.

In 2016, I came out as bisexual.

In 2016, I blocked my parents’ calls and texts and emails, and told them to stop trying to contact me.

In 2017, I submitted my dissertation prospectus and got it approved.

In 2017, I traveled to Eigg for the first time.

In 2017, I presented at Leeds for the first time.

In 2017, I attempted to end my life and spent a week on the medical ward and a week in the psych ward.

In 2017, I moved into my own apartment.

In 2018, I came out as genderfluid and nonbinary.

In 2018, I legally changed my name.

In 2018, I became co-chair of the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study.

In 2018, I completely changed my dissertation topic.

In 2018, I began tutoring home-schooled kids and teens via Skype.

In 2018, I designed and built the Bais Yaakov Project website.

In 2019, I held a tea party for my birthday and decided it would be an annual tradition.

In 2019, I was a semifinalist for the NAEd Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.

In 2019, I won the Lynn Kadison Dissertation Year Fellowship.

In 2019, I traveled to Eigg for the second time.

In 2019, I presented at Leeds for the second time, and decided never again.

In 2019, I made concrete plans to get away from the overcrowded, dirty, and noisy New York, and to spend six months traveling the UK and maybe a month or two in France, Germany, and/or Ireland. (And maybe other places, but I can get by on my basic French and German speaking skills, and I’m not so confident about going to a country whose language I don’t know.)

Countdown: 179 days to takeoff!

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